Chinas angespanntes Verhältnis zu Japan und den USA
Der Economist hat diese Woche mal wieder China auf dem Titel und mehrere Geschichten über Pekings Rolle im asiatischen Raum im Blatt. Online verfügbar ist zum einen ein langer Bericht über das nach wie vor angespannte Verhältnis zu Japan: IF YOU want to think that Asia's two greatest powers are edging closer to one another, you can find plenty of supporting evidence. Last year, China overtook America to become Japan's biggest trading partner. Japan has been China's biggest trading partner in three of the past four years. Trade rows, common in the 1990s as Japanese producers grew afraid of Chinese competition, have virtually disappeared. The two economies are increasingly integrated, with cheap Chinese goods delighting Japanese shoppers and sophisticated Japanese equipment humming away in Chinese factories. ... Yet there has recently been a lot more evidence for the opposite view, namely that tensions are rising again between two of the 20th century's bitterest rivals. Last November, a Chinese submarine sailed into Japanese waters near its southern islands in an apparently deliberate attempt to test its detection systems, a tactic reminiscent of the Soviet navy's during the cold war. Japan, noticeably proud that its surveillance did indeed detect the sub, demanded—and got—an apology. Last month, Japan deliberately made its position on Taiwan less ambiguous by declaring, in a joint statement with its American ally, that Taiwan is a mutual security concern. This not only meddled in China's internal affairs, in China's view, but also took Japan a symbolic step further past its constitutional restrictions on military action. In December, Japan's National Defence Programme Outline had described China itself as a source of “concern” for Japan.
Eine zweite Geschichte blickt auf die nicht weniger spannungsgeladene Beziehung zu den USA insbesondere im Hinblick auf Nordkorea: “CHINA”, wrote Condoleezza Rice when George Bush was first running for the American presidency, “resents the role of the United States in the Asia-Pacific region”. During a visit to China as part of an Asian tour in her new role as secretary of state, she diplomatically avoided such bluntness, remarking instead that America and China shared common interests in regional and global stability. But on two of the region's paramount security issues, North Korea and Taiwan, Ms Rice did not find the Chinese all that helpful. She made clear that America was growing impatient with the lack of progress in the Chinese-hosted six-way dialogue on North Korea's nuclear programme that also includes South Korea, Japan and Russia. On March 21st, at the end of her six-nation trip, she told reporters in Beijing that America remained “committed” to the talks, even though North Korea is now refusing to participate. But she also said that if North Korea remained obdurate, “we will have to look at other options”.